Motor Trade industry
The motor industry involves a variety of activities the majority of which can be grouped into three main areas: the sale of new and used motor vehicles, maintenance and repair of vehicles including recovery, and the sale of fuel, parts and accessories. Having the most suitable premises is fundamental to a business and these can range from small retail shops selling parts/accessories and local independent garages undertaking mechanical repairs and servicing, to larger main dealerships and nationwide accident repair centres strategically and prominently located.
The industry performed well between 2012 and 2016, achieving strong growth in employment, production, economic output and exports. However, the industry faces fundamental challenges, including profound shifts in global demand, environmental concerns and the advent of new technologies such as driverless cars. Perhaps most importantly, the prospect of Brexit has increased uncertainty in the industry and registrations have been on the decline since 2017. The UK automotive manufacturing sector is highly integrated with the rest of Europe, in both finished cars and component parts. For instance, the UK imported £13.2 billion’s worth of vehicle engines and parts in 2018, 79% of which came from the EU.
Some key facts
• The UK motor vehicle manufacturing industry contributed £16.6 billion to the economy in 2018, 0.8% of the whole economy’s output, and 8.5% of manufacturing output.
• The industry employed 166,000 people across Great Britain in 2018.
• 1.60 million vehicles were produced in the UK in 2018, 80% of which were exported
• Automotive exports totalled £40.1 billion in 2018 and imports totalled £56.0 billion, resulting in deficit of £15.9 billion.
• There were 2.4 million car registrations in 2018, down 6.8% on the 2016 figure, which was the second successive annual fall in car registrations.